Fictiv raises $35M to “aggressively” advance AM digital transformation

On-demand manufacturing platform Fictiv has raised $35 million in Series D funding to “aggressively expand” its cloud-based Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem. 

The latest investment, led by 40 North Ventures and including participation from the likes of Honeywell, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Accel, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, will be used to advance Fictiv’s cloud-based technology platform and invest in its supply chain operations.

“At 40 North Ventures we invest in companies that are shaping the industrial future,” said Marianne Wu, Managing Director at 40 North Ventures. “Fictiv has rapidly established itself as the gold standard for digital transformation in the manufacturing and supply chain sectors, helping customers of all sizes and industries modernize their efforts to realize superior speed, quality, and efficiency.”

A prosthetic made for Lim Innovations with urethene casting method. Image via Fictiv
A prosthetic made for Lim Innovations with urethene casting method. Photo via Fictiv.

Streamlining the manufacturing process

Founded in 2013 with the goal of helping people build physical objects faster, Fictiv’s platform combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a range of manufacturing methods such as 3D printing, CNC, and injection molding to streamline production. The firm has been ambitious with its technology since its inception, and has since achieved a level of manufacturing speed and agility far superior to that of the traditional contract manufacturing industry, it claims.

In 2018, Fictive received $15 million in Series B funding to expand its operations into China with the aim of creating a “new world order” that would democratize access to fast, high-quality manufacturing through its software rollout. A year later, the company secured a further $33 million in funding to automate the manufacturing workflow and continue developing its software platform.

Fictiv’s Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem streamlines the entire manufacturing process from quote through to delivery, deploying its AI and machine learning technology to help customers in achieving more efficient product development workflows. With more than 200 vetted manufacturing partners in the US and China, Fictiv can support product requests ranging from local rapid prototyping to overseas production projects.

Using its online collaborative tools, customers and hardware teams can collaborate on projects, provide design feedback, and resolve issues, while Fictiv’s intelligent algorithms provide automated quoting and manufacturability feedback to significantly speed up project schedules. The platform’s smart matching system instantly assesses capacity and capabilities for the pairing of projects to manufacturers, and parts are tested and reviewed by quality control systems before being delivered to the customer.

To date, Fictiv has produced more than 12 million parts for companies active in the robotics, aerospace, automotive, and medical device sectors.

“There is an immense opportunity for digital transformation in the manufacturing sector,” said Kamal Vasagiri, Director of Venture Capital Investments at Honeywell.

“Fictiv’s traction with enterprise companies like Honeywell, combined with the potential for scale inherent in their digital ecosystem model, gives us confidence that Fictiv is truly building the future of manufacturing.”

Collaborative design tools on the Fictiv platform. Image via Fictiv.
Collaborative design tools on the Fictiv platform. Image via Fictiv.

Conquering Covid-19 disruption with digital thread

While many aspects of the manufacturing industry observed supply chain gaps, slow down of production, and lack of part availability during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fictiv was able to seamlessly continue its operations via its digital thread of optimized manufacturing services. In fact, the firm says it has more than doubled its revenue for both CNC machining and 3D printing services.

In the third quarter of last year, Fictiv launched a new set of transparency features capable of giving customers real-time part photos and inspection data straight from the factory floor. The new features deliver greater visibility and traceability benefits to the company’s customers, and reduces wasted hours chasing down information by engineers and supply chain managers.

“The challenges of the past year have demonstrated the value of a digital approach to manufacturing and Fictiv’s ability to support partners’ needs despite unprecedented disruption,” said Dave Evans, CEO at Fictiv. “We are thrilled to welcome these new investors as we rapidly accelerate growth to meet the increasing demand for our quality-driven approach to on-demand manufacturing.”

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Featured image shows a prosthetic made for Lim Innovations with urethene casting method. Image via Fictiv.